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 Frank Ryan  (1979 - )

About: Frank Ryan


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Lived/Active: California      Known for: public building and private interior-scene painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Frank Ryan bases his paintings on a combination of source material, i.e. photographs, digital video and photography as well as observational drawings.  Many of the newest pieces are based on security camera footage recorded by computers - and made available by computers.  The images are of hotel lobbies, restaurants, bars, and storefronts as well as ports, cathedrals, urban streets and even living rooms.

Ryan's only access to these places is through the Internet.  He comments that people frequenting them most likely have no idea that their image is online for others to see. These works, as an extension of the artist, question the ownership of experience and the rights to one's own image.

In 2003 Ryan was one of four artists selected by the executive director of the Sonoma Museum of Visual Arts for their exhibition "Innovations in printmaking from Sonoma County." Reviewer Gretchen Giles wrote "Ryan, who is 24, (is) immensely gifted…."  This same writer said in a 2002 story: "Relying almost solely on the reliable glory of light and a viewer's brain synapses to put images together, his quick, deft strokes paint an everything from a nothing." S he also noted: "Profoundly influenced by English painters Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, Ryan's work also centers on human narrative… But the representational figures almost cease to matter, as Ryan's surfaces are infinitely fascinating from any vantage."

For his 2006 UCLA thesis show the LA Weekly quoted Ryan as having an interest in capturing in paintings, a sense of living in the city.  The author commented in response: "The work reminds one, however, of how rich a thing that is. They're large, unabashedly muscular works, but suffused with sensitivity: to light, space, the figure, mood.  They're bodily works."  The UCLA 2007 Department of Art "Graduate Studies Brochure" featured two images of Ryan's paintings, including an installation view of his 2006 thesis show.

Frank Ryan completed his BFA at Sonoma State in 2002, following a year of studies in Italy at the Academia di Belle Arti di Firenze, Florence, Italy.  He is reported to be collected by many members of the Sonoma State University art faculty.

Since receiving his MFA in painting and drawing from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2006, Ryan has had solo shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Submitted by: Adam Beck

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